Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to avoid getting cheated.

Cheats, con men, confidence tricksters......

We have to protect ourselves against them. Here are a few guidelines. Comments, suggestions
and your own experiences (if any) may be given in the comments section or separately to me by
e-mail :

(1) KYC: Know your customer. Banks and financial institutions have elaborate formats. We should gather the minimum required information. If the customer has a landline number, we should gather the same. If it a BSNL number, the address can be easily cross verified.

(2) In the case of direct supply to customers, it is advised that we do a site visit and ascertain
things before the units are sent.

(3) In the case of supply to dealers and mechanics, it is better to deal with persons with whom
we have had past experience which was pleasant.

(4) Even to persons to whom we supply regularly, in such cases where we have even an iota of
doubt, it is better to supply only against cash payment or after the cheques have passed.

(5) When collecting cheques please check: (a) date and year (b) whether the amount in words and figures tally (c) has the cheque been signed?

(6) If a person who has been buying regulary elsewhere and comes to us, it is better to refer.

(7) Delivery in front of closed shop, parking lot, etc. to be avoided. This smells fishy.

All said and done, business is risk-taking. Agreed, but let us take calculated risks.

The following incident was narrated to me a few years back:

Evening around 5 o'clock. Three people come in a jeep with thick files. They look like Government officials. They want two air-conditoners urgently and also give a cheque with some rubber stamp and signed in green ink. Air-conditioners are supplied and loaded. The cheque turns out to be a fake one. Whereabouts of customer is not known at all. Moral: No government departments purchases in such a great hurry.

Here is another one:

Customer is a person who has been working for many years with a reputed spare parts dealer in Chennai. He starts his own business and buys air-conditioners for Rupees two lakhs and gives a
bearer's cheque. But there is no money in the bank for any number of days.

But as luck would have it, through a common friend who knew the bank clerk, help was sought.
The clerk took the cheque and kept it in his drawer. One day he rang up and informed that the party has deposited a cheque and asked the supplier to come to the bank at 9.55 a.m. 10 a.m. he passes the cheque and pays the money and asks him to be seated inside. The customer comes at about 10.15 and presents a cheque and the bank clerk says that there is no sufficient fund.
When questioned further he asks: Did you issue a cheque for Rs. 2 lakhs to Mr. X. Yes comes the reply. Well, Mr.X just withdrew the money minutes back!

But then all of us cannot be that lucky.

I am reminded of the following words with appropriate pictures which used to be displayed
in many a shop.




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